Go Back John Clare's Personal Website Monday, September 25, 2023
Black and White

You've seen the photos on greeting cards and coffee mugs... images that aren't entirely black & white, right? Our wedding photographer even said she was taking a night class on how to paint color into a black & white photo. I remember at the time thinking, "I bet I could do that digitally."

Well, you can, and it's incredibly easy!

So what's the magic trick? It's "cloning". Here's how I did it. Take the original photograph and paste a side-by-side copy in your image editor. Grey-scale the original, then bump the color depth back up to 16 million. Enlarge them both, so you can get really detailed. Then position the cloning brush over the original, making sure to mark the exact X/Y coordinates when you lock it in. Move to the copy and place the brush on those identical coordinates before you begin the clone process. At that point it's simply a matter of brushing in the color wherever you like.

Of course, it takes a little getting used to. And you quickly discover how to adjust the brush hardness and size to suit your subject. But after I did a couple of pictures, it became really easy.

Pretty cool stuff, huh?